Sure, you may have visited a dog-friendly hotel before, where a few bones were thrown to your dogÂ during check-in, or turn-down service came with some special treats. But a hotel in South Florida is giving a whole new meaning to dog-friendlyâ¦ as in a friendly dog is actually on staff, and she takes her job very seriously.
Meet Sandy, a black Labrador Retriever and the official "ambassador" at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. She'll work for pats on the head from guests as well as treats (especially Digest-eeze treats, her favorite).
The oceanfront resort was able to convince its corporate offices to allow it to have an on-property dog mascot. Sandy's main job description: make hotel guests and conference guests happy (just look at that face)! She also has a special knack for cheering up those who are missing their own four-legged companions while they're traveling.
So what does Sandy's workday look like?
She carpools to the hotel with her human, Pam Cook, the director of membership sales at the hotel. She gets outfitted in her signature red vest to denote that she's a therapy animal in training. She also joins in on the morning staff meeting.
In between cheering up travelers and relieving fellow employees of stress, Sandy likes to play ball (the hallways are a fun place for this), take naps and enjoy walks along the beach, with the scenic backdrop of swaying palm trees and the Atlantic Ocean's turquoise waters.
Ruff life, yes?
But in all seriousness, Sandy has some high ambitions: she's in training to be a therapy dog. Therapy animalsÂ are different from assistance or service animals in that their main role is to bring comfort to people, which could occur at places like retirement homes, through hospice care and at disaster areas. Eventually, Sandy will expand her reach, providing affection in schools and working with charities in addition to her hotel job. (Never forget your roots!)
Sandy is about a year old, which is about 7 in dog years, so we'll be watching for her on Forbes' famedÂ "30 under 30Â List."